Halifax Index 2024
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Halifax Index 2024

2023 in Halifax has been more of a continuation from 2022 rather than a sharp change in course.

Population growth, propelled by international migration, hit a new record high. This was good news for addressing long-term demographic challenges. However, it also meant continued and serious pressures on housing, transportation, and health care. Driven in large part by rising prices for housing, inflation remained stubbornly elevated compared to the past 30 years.

GDP and household incomes did grow in 2023 but were outpaced by the increase in the cost of living. Productivity statistics remain worrisome and recently the Bank of Canada stated it was time to break the glass on the metaphorical alarm.

Fortunately, the inflation rate in 2023 was down from 2022, and it appears that the decline will continue toward a more manageable level through 2024.

The combination of a rising cost of living and a loss of purchasing power; stress over basic needs like housing and health care; concern over international tensions and horrific events in various parts of the world; and the one-two-three punch of a wildfire, a flood, and a hurricane all in the span of four months, was reflected in lower life-satisfaction scores among Halifax residents.

*Last September, the Halifax Index was recognized with a Silver Award for Digital Media from the International Economic Development Council. Thank you and congratulations to all the staff who work so hard on creating the Index every year!

**In another piece of exciting news, on May 22, 2024, the African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index was launched. This document is a pivotal starting point in providing an accurate baseline for a range of social and economic indicators for people of African descent in Nova Scotia.

How Halifax Measures Up

Every year, the Halifax Index provides an overview of our city’s economic and community progress, and it provides important insights to strengthen and grow Halifax. This 13th annual edition continues to measure Halifax's growth across a wide range of key indicators and progress toward Halifax’s Inclusive Economic Strategy goals.

In past years, the Halifax Index used data for the Halifax Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) to analyze our city. This geographic designation, until recently, closely matched the political borders of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Statistics Canada’s recent revisions have added East Hants to the Halifax CMA. As a community of roughly 26,500 residents, it has materially impacted statistics we use to analyze Halifax. Data included in the Halifax Index continue to use the CMA unless indicated otherwise. However, several tables are updated to cover the Halifax Economic Region (ER), a geography that still closely aligns to HRM’s political boundaries. 

We continue to measure Halifax against a suite of major Canadian cities. Our “benchmark cities” comprise St. John’s, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (KCW), Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver.


Halifax’s estimated population in 2023 was 492,199, an increase of 19,237 (4.1%) over 2022 – the largest on record. Most of this increase (15,776) came from international migration, another record high.


Halifax led benchmark cities in employment growth in 2023, but the city’s unemployment rate rose and job vacancies fell. Difficulties filling positions eased, but person-days lost to work stoppages climbed as higher inflation led to heightened labour action.


While Halifax’s economy is growing, future standards of living are limited by poor productivity performance.


The 2023 Communities section examines homeowner and rental markets across the Halifax region in terms of affordability and availability. As well, it introduces the new African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index.


Inflation in Halifax was 4.3% in 2023 – down substantially from 7.3% in 2022. The rise in the cost of living in 2022 caused Halifax’s poverty rate to jump to 13.6%.


Progress toward Halifax’s well-being strategic goal dipped this year as concerns over issues including health care and housing affordability and access weighed on the public’s mind.

Real Estate

Stubbornly tight housing and rental markets put pressure on affordability. While Halifax is seeing tremendous construction investment, this has yet to materialize into sufficient completed units.


Learn how Halifax has been doing as we move into the third year of People. Planet. Prosperity. Halifax’s Inclusive Economic Strategy 2022-27.

Thank You

To our sponsors and partners who helped us develop this year's Halifax Index.

Looking for a previous index?

View previous years' Index publications by visiting the Halifax Index Archive below.

Halifax Index Presentations

On June 6th, the Halifax Partnership presented this year's Halifax Index along with partners from TD Bank and Entrevestor.

Download the Presentations:

People. Planet. Prosperity.

Together with Halifax Regional Municipality, we led the development of Halifax's economic strategy for 2022-27. We brought together businesses, partners, residents, and communities throughout Halifax to share ideas, insights, and actions to build a more inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and prosperous Halifax over the next five years.

Reach out to us

Ian Munro

Chief Economist

Connect with our team.



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